When arrested or given notice to appear, you are assigned a future court date in which you must appear before the judge. At that time, the judge will formally read the charges against you and ask how you want to go forward. If you decide you want to resolve the case, the prosecutor will give you an offer and you are free to accept or reject the offer.
In our experiences as former prosecutors, the offer given to you at arraignment will not be favorable. The prosecutor has not had time to review the evidence in your case. In many circumstances, the prosecutor does not even have a file prepared for the proceeding. Therefore, the prosecutors give a high offer in order to cover themselves, as they know nothing about the facts and circumstances of your case.
Plea negotiations take place throughout your case in the form of meetings with the prosecutor, pretrial conference, and plea conferences. The goal of a plea negotiation is to come to a favorable resolution of the case, which begins with an "offer" from the prosecutor or judge. If the offer is unfavorable, then litigation is the course of action.
First Time Offenders/Certain Repeat Offenders
For first-time offenders/certain repeat offenders, there are a wide variety of programs available depending on the facts and circumstances of your case as well as your criminal history. If you are eligible for pretrial diversion, pretrial intervention or drug court and you successfully complete the program; your charges will be dropped.
Pretrial Diversion is a offered by the State Attorney Office and depending on the facts and circumstances of your case generally involve a term of probation, community service, classes for rehabilitation, substance abuse treatment program, random testing at your expense, fines including cost of supervision, cost of prosecution, cost of law enforcement investigation, court costs, as well as other sanctions depending on the nature of your charges. Upon completing the program, the State Attorney Office will drop your charges.
Pretrial Intervention is a program offered by the Court and may be used for repeat offenders in certain circumstances. Similar to the State Attorney's pretrial diversion program, the Court may order you to complete a term of probation, community service, classes for rehabilitation, substance abuse treatment program, random testing at your expense, fines including cost of supervision, cost of prosecution, cost of law enforcement investigation, court costs, as well as other sanctions depending on the nature of your charges. Upon successfully completing the program, the Court will drop your charges.
Drug Court is intended for repeat offenders who suffer from drug addiction. The program involves weekly supervision and an extensive substance abuse treatment program that can last anywhere from eighteen to twenty-four months.
If plea negotiations are unsuccessful, the next course of action is to litigate your case. This may be done in a couple of ways. Prior to trial, we will file motions to suppress or motion to dismiss, depending on the facts of your case. If either or both motions are unsuccessful, then upon your approval, the next step will be to try the case before a jury.
Motion to Suppress (evidence/statements)
A motion to suppress is a hearing in which your defense attorney will challenge the constitutionality of the officer's ability to stop you or your vehicle, detain you for purposes of conducting an investigation, and conduct an arrest. In addition, there may be other challenges which include statements unlawfully taken in violation of your Miranda rights and issues regarding consent to search your person, vehicle, house, etc.
Motion to Dismiss
Generally, there are three types of motions to dismiss, which if successful will result in the court dropping the charges against you:
If the motion to suppress/motion to dismiss is unsuccessful, Ali & Blankner is fully prepared to bring your case before a jury in order to prove your case. For a better understanding of our mission and philosophy, please visit our Firm Overview page.
In essence, an Orlando criminal defense lawyer works in defending people from their charges and can help reduce jail time or avoid it entirely. An attorney ensures your rights are protected, rights which many are unaware of. A good attorney can challenge specific points in the prosecution's case and instill sufficient doubt in the judge's or jury's mind as to whether you committed the offense in question.
Reach out to Ali & Blankner today—(407) 680-2147.